In Banksy’s Monkey Detonator, a monkey hovers gleefully on the trigger of dynamite. Banksy uses monkeys throughout his oeuvre as a defiant representative of society’s 'underdogs'; while apes may be seen as humanity’s less intelligent relative, in this work, the monkey smiles at the havoc it is about to cause. The artwork exemplifies Banksy's use of monkeys to incite rebellion and non-conformity.
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Monkey Detonator is a spray-painted artwork by Banksy from the early 2000s. The stencilled work shows a monkey jumping on a bomb detonator handle, moments away from setting off an explosion. The monkey's cheeky smile suggests it is well aware of its actions.
Banksy has made numerous variations of Monkey Detonator. One version of the image, created in 2000, is entirely in monochrome. Featuring a black stencilled monkey on a white background, this work was released as an edition of 25.
Other versions of this infamous image include a yellow bomb detonator, which adds a pop of colour to the otherwise monochromatic scene; another version reveals that the monkey is in fact detonating a bomb made of explosive bananas: this latter version was first seen on the streets around Waterloo station, London, in 2006.